Sunday, June 11, 2006

Well, color me productive

There's this quilt I'm going to make. I have some general guidelines, but nothing very specific yet. I've had it in the back--and sometimes the front--of my mind recently, kind of hoping for inspiration but not getting all that far as yet.

Yesterday it was rainy and cold and the girls were with José and Yolanda for the weekend and I decided to try pulling out some fabric as an alternate first step. I had been assuming that, in order to do that, I would have to clean off my sewing table first, and maybe even find a permanent storage solution for the fabric, which has been in the top of the girls' closet ever since we moved here. Safe and sound, but not terribly accessible.

Obviously, that's too big a project to take seriously on any given day, so it has been postponed on a regular basis.

Anyway, yesterday I thought I'd get out some fabric and look at it and think about it, and THEN worry about where I would keep it. I got down every last piece from the closets, and even the smaller stash in a box on my table, and the bundles I was given at the last retreat. Everything.

I put in my Friends DVDs (for once putting them to the use for which they were intended) and began to sort and fold. Most of the fabric was at least somewhat folded, but a lot of it had been on piles that had fallen over or been riffled through in pursuit of whatever, so a lot of straightening and a bit of refolding was in order.

Boy, it takes a longer than you'd think to get a closet full of fabric into relatively neat stacks, but by the time I went to bed I had...

A medium-tall stack of odd-sized fabrics:

A collection of threads, knots and scraps too small to keep:

A big box 3/4 full of neatly folded quarter-yards
(and other sized fabrics that could pass for a quarter):

And four stacks of yard-ish (and up) pieces:

Oh, and also a bag of scraps and a collection of things that should never have been put away with the fabric:

This morning I went back and re-folded the many larger pieces that, while neat, had come out of the closet folded to the wrong width. I just put all the wide ones together last night, but ultimately they all have to be about the same size so they can be stored together.

Then I sorted by color which (lest anyone get the wrong idea) is not an anal thing to do. It's necessary because otherwise there would be no way to really know what's available when planning a quilt or a color scheme. It's not like arranging the books on your shelf by size or color. Really. Quilters, back me up here - I feel judged (hard to say by who, considering that nobody has even read this yet...).

Anyway, here are the folded, sorted fruits of that labor:

And let's have another close up of the re-sorted quarters because they're just so pretty:

And then I was able to pull out some preliminary fabrics. No real specific thoughts yet, but we know that sage green is going to play a part in it, so I started with that, added some lights, and threw in some accent colors (which would probably be used sparingly). No idea if this is the way it'll go, but it's nice to have created a starting point.


mom June 11, 2006 6:38 PM  

Oh, those fabric piles are SOOO beautiful. I love them. And no, it is not anal at all. In fact, it will all be tumbling down around your ears in no time. (At least, once I start a project, everything I "audition" for a part gets tossed aside, not restacked. Just for the moment, of course. Just because I am in a creative rush and cannot take the time right then . . . Eventually I have a corner with fabric that tried out for the Red Hat quilt hiding fabric that was accepted or rejected, as the case may be, for Robin's Heart's Delight. And atop the bookcase are scraps from which Julia's Butterfly Garden was made - and, oh yes, some of those tan and pink and green swatches that went into the queen-size flying geese quilt that I finished binding this afternoon. Somewhere there's the oriental vest I started in May 2004 and almost finished in January 2006. All it needs is a frog. Yes, a frog.)

I need to iron and fold and reestablish fabric order, too. To do so is not anal. (Though it's true I tend to be anal.)

But I PROMISED myself no more quilting until I finish my editing job for PCC, wrap up matters at my soon-to-end employment, and take a peek at what is ahead in my soon-to-start employment. It is so hard to stay away!


Thanks for the show.

lisa June 11, 2006 9:57 PM  

Not that there's anything wrong with arranging the books on your shelf by color. (I've been meaning to tell you about my dining room.) I guess there's no sense in trying to convince the internet that I'm not anal....

Sigh. Friends and and all-day project. Sorting even! I miss you. And if you say there were cookies, I really miss you!

p.s. Do you ever get smooth with the HTML tags? I am still so clumsy with the < and the > and the /! As fast as I type, they're three keys I've never had to work into my routine. (It makes me wonder how miserable not being able to type fast would be. Thanks, Mrs. Dupree!)

Anita June 12, 2006 6:37 AM  

1) I organize my books by color and size which I think is not anal, just pretty.
2) I alphabetize my CDs which I think is anal and not pretty at all.
3) and I LOVE the sage colors and the accents. The sage is really, really beautiful.

BTW, Pura Vida sells everything from mass produced $40 bowls to "real" art/paintings at $1200. They are a funky mix of ethnic store and high end art gallery. Every time I go in, I'm surprised at what they have.

But back to me, I love those colors. (And the stacks of fabric are beautiful in and of themselves!)

Jennifer June 12, 2006 10:34 AM  

Know your audience....know your audience...(Bangs head on keyboard)

Okay, sorry everybody. Of course I did not mean to imply that there was anything WRONG with organizing books by color! Or being anal!

What I should have said was that, while book organizing would be a strictly aesthetic exercise, the fabric thing is a necessary part of creating a quilt. I purposely didn't compare it to alphabetizing books or CDs because that has a practical purpose.

(Resumes banging)

Oh, and Lisa: there were scones. And no kids to share them with.

Also, I spent enough years coding HTML at Informatica Internacional that the tag characters are pretty well integrated into my subconscious. Look, I can even mix them up with Spanish characters!



Laylabean June 12, 2006 8:46 PM  

Oooo - pretty, pretty fabric! What a great way to spend the day, playing in fabric. And I love the prelim colors for the quilt, that's going to be beautiful.

The Teacher June 12, 2006 9:35 PM  

Ohhhhh...I'm so jealous of all the fabric. So pretty. *drools* I'm also jealous of the space you have for it, and the neatness of it. I've still got fabric I haven't done the hot wash and dryer treatment to yet. :P And I've got to get started on a baby blanket for someone due in July! *goes and starts playing with the patterns*

Sandy June 13, 2006 7:31 AM  

It makes perfect sense to sort fabric by color. You have my support. After all, I got the idea myself from you and your mom. Delicious is the word I use when I look at your pictures. Sage green...yet another thing we have in common. Have fun. There is no greater joy than starting a new project. Not even...! :-0
While we are on the subject of books, I like the disheveled look of a bookshelf when they are all mixed up by size and color. That's part of the adventure of reading a good book.

Trish June 13, 2006 6:17 PM  

The fabrics are lushously beatiful. You must post pics of the quilt when it's completed. I admire the talent to make them.
I love your blog, by the way. Great writing and pictures!

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